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Interview: Autolux

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LR: I guess my first question is what have you guys been doing since your last tour?

Carla: We’ve been collecting our thoughts and resetting our souls, trying to write, and writing. Preparing to make another record.

LR: That’s good, so have you actually gone into the studio?

Carla: No that’s in about a week.

LR: Ok, do you have any thoughts on a producer or just doing it yourselves this time?

Carla: We’re co-producing it with John Goodmanson. He did a lot of Blonde Redhead records and others. A great engineer and good guy.

LR: Is he located in Los Angeles or do you have to go somewhere else?

Carla: He’s going to come here, he’s located in Brooklyn. Greg does he live in Brooklyn?

Greg: Yeah, He lives in Brooklyn or in The Bronx, or maybe Seattle. He keeps going back to Seattle.

LR: So from all the touring you guys did was there ever like a point where you start making or discovering sounds on stage and think to yourself, “Wow it would be different to sort of record more this way”, because you found different sounds or, “let’s try this approach because we can get this kind of sound?"

Carla: I think…I don’t know if it was just based on touring, I think we’ve always been thinking like that.

Greg: Yeah, generally when you tour you’re lucky if the sound is listenable and you can hear each other well enough. We were opening for Nine Inch Nails and didn’t have a lot of time to sound check or really experiment.

Carla: We had one sound check on that whole tour.

LR: It seems like you guys have a lot of particular gear and that it would make a difference.

Greg: It’s fine because you get into a pattern and that’s good. But there’s really no time to experiment.

Carla: That was fine and we just got used to it.

LR: I guess I was thinking along the lines of like when you’re playing and you do the same song over and over and then all of the sudden you start hearing it a little bit differently and doing it and think, “Ohh that’s cool maybe we should try that on a new song”.

Greg: We would play certain parts of songs differently every night, it’s pretty free. I mean we toured for almost a year; it’s weird because you start off and feel kind of rusty and then you get into a rhythm and I think you have your best shows and then you just…kind of get lazy no matter what. I mean we’re playing the same songs every night; we only had like a 30 minute set.

LR: That’s not long at all because you guys have 4 to 5 minutes songs.

Carla: That was just on that one tour.

Greg: Yeah, on the Nine Inch Nails tour.

Carla: We also toured in a bus. But last year we toured all year, went to Europe a few times. We toured all year driving and that takes a lot out of you.

Greg: We drove around all of North America three times.

LR: Were there any special places or memories that you were surprised that you enjoyed or maybe you didn’t think you’d like it compared to when you got there?

Carla: Athens, Georgia I really liked.

Greg: Yeah Athens. LR: They have quite a good music scene there right?

Carla: Yeah it’s just really great. I’m from the South and I had never been there, I really liked it. I liked England. We played All Tomorrow’s Parties and that was incredible.

LR: It’s too bad because they used to do that here about two miles from where I live and I just don’t think they were making enough money that second time so they just abandoned it, now it’s primarily a UK festival. I really miss that good vibe with random bands that aren’t necessarily money-making acts that I love, like Deerhoof.

Greg: We saw Deerhoof opening for Radiohead.

LR: Yeah, I was there and that was great.

Carla: We talked about doing a tour with them, a west coast tour. We’re in a race to see whose record gets finished first.

LR: Those guys crank out like one record a year.

Greg: Yeah we like to do one a decade.

LR: Just like Kevin Shields, he doesn’t do records anymore.

Carla: You’re just in constant turmoil.

Greg: If you do one a decade it’s easier to have a life long career in music. Six records, I think that’s how many the Beatles made.

LR: So for the next album are there any older songs from the "silver demo" days that you still have lying around?

Greg: Let’s see what’s left, ‘Future Perfect’ and ’Under Orbit’.

LR: Would you guys consider going back to re-record them using a different approach?

Carla: No, we’re just on a different path. Once you’ve done something you don’t want to go back and keep re-doing it. It’s out there enough for people to find it.

LR: What’s sort of the..I don’t want to get too specific, but the idea or thoughts of the next album? Do you think you want it to have certain sounds or ideas?

Carla: We can’t even talk about, only because we can’t even talk about that with ourselves. It’s not that we don’t want to talk about it. When we go and record I think no matter what our thoughts are in our heads at the moment, or the preconceived notions, it will be totally different when we are actually recording and we will be on some crazy path right in the middle of it. I don’t know…just going in thinking about drums I can be saying I want everything sounding really tiny and small, but still loud and then it will turn out opposite and be huge, we’re constantly changing our minds a little bit on that. It’s hard to talk about exactly what you want a record to sound like.

LR: Right, or maybe you know you don’t want it to be a certain way or like this and maybe you just let it happen?

Greg: I mean we always have a lot of ideas and conceptual parameters and things going in.

Carla: Well, the one thing I do know that is at the top of our list is that we always want to have great songs. Songs are the most important thing, otherwise it comes over as just a bunch of noise and sounds. A great song could be anything. It doesn’t mean it has to be everybody’s idea of a great chorus or a commercial rock chorus. Maybe we’re just trying to reinvent what a good song is or something I don’t know.

LR: Right, ya know I usually go see lots of these bands and some of them have these big sounds and effects. And there are also these indie bands where it’s just about the effects and there’s absolutely no melody, but the bass sounds good and there’s rhythm sounding good, there has to be a song or it’s boring.

Carla: Yeah and that’s where we all come from first, that’s the main thing. Substance is just not about putting effects on guitars or vocals. Greg’s is going to be singing more on this record.

LR: Are you going to be singing more?

Carla: Yes.

LR: Very cool, ever considered doing some three-part harmonies.

Carla: Well we are going to do harmony stuff between the three of us, more background vocals and the touring has made us more confident.

LR: So in your mind how did you think the album did? Regardless of sales you kept going around and touring and you definitely had a crowd.

Carla: I didn’t really focus on how it did or how it was doing we were just always looking ahead. There were things about it we weren’t crazy about. We just wanted to keep playing shows and play live because we love playing together. I don’t really know how it did. We’re so out of touch with that I think. We all want to have a career and make some money but not at the expense of doing things we don’t want to do. Our last record, considering it wasn’t promoted at all really, I feel that word-of-mouth and people coming to see us live helped. I think we were surprised that a lot of kids and people found out about it.

LR: Yeah or the internet…blogs…etc., people love your record.

Carla: Yeah it’s great. We have a lot of people who support our music.

LR: As a band I would think it would be better to be like a Velvet Underground-influential type of a band you know? Where more people are coming to you instead of pushing a single on people over and over again.

Carla: Yeah that’s how it is, we all just want to make music we love. All of us individually are always trying to do something we haven’t heard before on some level, so it’s hard and difficult because there’s so much great underground music going on and now we’re in an era where it’s like…what haven’t you heard? But sometimes I think I know the answer to that.

LR: So as far as the L.A music scene goes when you’re not touring is there stuff you like that you’re really into?

Carla: I’m not sure I know what that is. We’ve been gone for a long time and don’t know what scene there is.

Greg: I’m kind of like really retarded in that way, we don’t go out and see too much music.

Carla: We buy records and when a band comes to town we love we will all go see that band, like Deerhoof and Radiohead, you can’t beat that.

Greg: And also after a certain amount of disappointments you just kind of give up.

LR: Yeah, like someone will tell something is good and you’re like uhhhh???

Greg: There’s this band that rehearses right next to us and they’re really good, just absolutely brutal and truly intense called 400 Blows.

LR: I’ve seen them a few times and they’re just awesome.

Carla: In the grand scheme of scenes I don’t even think there is, in my opinion, a scene in L.A.

LR: No, you’re right. I’m thinking I guess there are certain places where you can go to for music and there are these people that are familiar and you see them at places, at least I do. Ok, I just have a few more questions. Was going to a major label everything you thought it would be because you were saying that they didn’t really promote the record and that seems to be everything these days.

Greg: We really didn’t go to a major label, it was DMZ. We were under the Cohen Brothers and protected under this umbrella of T-Bone, even though it was all the resources of Sony being used.

Carla: It was under DMZ. What happened was he started the label, wanted to sign us, and signed us. Because his deal was with Sony we technically had signed to Sony under DMZ. And then for whatever reason they finally heard our music after they signed us and they probably didn’t know where we fit in and T-Bone’s label…he just wanted to sign music he liked and I think they were expecting his label to meet it’s quota and that label ended. Luckily at Epic there was a younger A & R guy who actually really loves our band and he’s going to stay out of the way and let us do our thing. He’s totally supportive and we’re really lucky with that.

Greg: When people let us do our thing it means there are apparently people having nervous breakdowns in their house. Fearing for their jobs or not.

Carla: Whatever the case is he’s allowing us to do our thing. So we’ll see what happens with this record. We’re just going to make a record we love.

Greg: I mean we really are striving to try and make a record that's not just a sequel. We want it to have its own complete and different identity.

Carla: I think it’s easy because we’re in such a good place now. I don’t even think it’s hard, I just hear silence from my end…I don’t even want to play drums on it.

Greg: We’ll be playing music and Carla’s like, “I don’t know if there should be drums on it” and then, “I’m not sure if there should be any guitars either”. (Laughter)

Carla: It’s going to be a record of silence and sounds of the wind.

LR: Maybe a little bit of feedback? Kind of like a Sonic Boom record, “eeeeeeeeee”. Is there anything else you guys want to talk about?

Carla: You should read John Fante Do you know him? LR: No I don’t. I need to read more.

Greg: He was like a forerunner of Bukowski, he wrote very simply and directly. You can read it in a night.

Carla: If you live in L.A. this book puts you in a place…it feels like downtown L.A.

Greg: Well since we’re recommending authors, W.G. Sebald. Have you read him? He has a book called Rings of Saturn, it’s great.

LR: No, like I said I really haven’t read a single page in the last year. I’ve been so swamped with music, reviewing shows, and writing reviews. I really need to be reading more it’s so sad.

Carla: What about if we talked about the reassignment of planets? LR: Yeah Pluto.

Greg: Pluto’s not even a planet anymore.

Carla: I’m glad, I never really liked it. Pluto’s a scam.

LR: It’s on the b-squad now. I think they were debating Pluto for years and finally did something about it.

Greg: They thought they had found another planet beyond it right?

Carla: They did its called UB313.

LR: That’s easy to remember, sounds like birth control.

-Scott McDonald

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views: 618 04.30.07

Klaxons: Live at Echoplex, 4/21/07
Andrew Youseff doesn't encounter any glow-sticks at The Klaxons gig.

views: 934 04.27.07

LiTTLE RADiO album picks for May
May is a huge month for album releases. So I thought I'd map out an "easy" list to focus on.

views: 722 04.26.07

The Little Ones-tour diary: Part 1
The Little Ones have set out on a tour with the Walkmen and Kaiser Chiefs. These are the facts, and this is their story. We will have updates from the Little Ones every week.

views: 804 04.24.07

Silversun Pickups: Live at Neumo’s, 4/13/07
-Words and photos by Dagmar Sieglinde Patterson

views: 1224 04.23.07

The Pity Party: Live at The Scene, 4/19/07
Thanks to Allen for hosting last night's event and Tim Norris for snapping The Pity Party. A big, sloppy cheers to all the talented bands that played.

views: 1049 04.20.07

The Shins: Live at the Orpheum Theatre, 4/15/07
The Shins first solo performance since their Hollywood Bowl appearance last year.

views: 775 04.19.07

KCRW's "A Sounds Eclectic Evening 6": Live at the Gibson Amphitheatre, 4/14/07
Andrew Youseff dropped by the KCRW "Sounds Eclectic" evening last Saturday.

views: 890 04.18.07

Re-High #9: THE CULT
This was one of the albums that defined my youth. Say what you will about Sonic Temple and the rest of The Cult's music but Electric was a swift kick in the ass. Don't lie, you know you wanted to rock Astbury's fur hat too.

views: 718 04.16.07

Muse: Live at the Forum, 4/20/07
I had no idea that Muse could fill the old stomping ground of the Los Angeles Lakers. Andrew Youseff witnessed it up close.

views: 1264 04.16.07

Ken Andrews: Live at the Troubadour, 4/5/07
Ken Andrews debuts material from his new album Secrets of the Lost Satellite.

views: 993 04.13.07

Bloc Party: Live at Paramount in Seattle, 3/11/07
An enthusiastic and rocking gig from Bloc Party, one of the best live bands you'll see.

views: 1132 04.12.07

20 L.A. bands you need to get acquainted with
It's difficult to find a cut-off period. Does one take into consideration major labels? Radio play? Residencies? Whatever. I'm sure many of you out there will disagree, but then again you could start a book club only not with books. Meet once a month and discuss the pros and cons of your own favorite L.A. bands. I smell a blog.

views: 919 04.12.07

Mew & Oh No! Oh My!: Live at the Belly Up Tavern, 4/8/07
Mew finish up their US tour at the rather unknown Belly Up Tavern in Solona Beach. Turns out it's a great place to see a show.

views: 735 04.11.07

Re-High #8: BUFFALO TOM
Buffalo Tom are still plugging away as a band these days. But there's one album in particular you need to discover before exploring the rest of their catalog.

views: 852 04.10.07

The Little Ones, Sea Wolf and The Temporary Thing: Live at The Troubadour, 3/4/07
I haven't seen The Temporary Thing in over a year, I had assumed they broke up. Along with two other stellar sets from Sea Wolf and The Little Ones, TTT proved that lineup changes, and a little time off, can make a band better and more precise.

views: 827 04.09.07

"That's Boss": Mike Post's Top 10 Theme Songs

Yep, the phrase "that's boss" comes from Riptide, which was shot on location in my hometown of Redondo Beach, CA. Other bangers from the 70's and beyond made my top 10 list.

Fun fact: Did you know that Sgt. Dee Dee McCall from Hunter had the nickname "The Brass Cupcake?" 

views: 971 04.06.07

Interview: THE PITY PARTY
L.A.'s The Pity Party are a duo consisting of Mark (guitar/vocals) and Julie (drums/keys/vocals). They just returned from a tour of the east with Raveonettes and a well-received show in Amsterdam, not bad for a band that dosn't even have a full-length or record label. The interview took place at LiTTLE RADiO HQ.

views: 920 04.05.07

Ticket giveaway: Sonic Youth plays "Daydream Nation" at the Greek Theatre
Win a pair of tickets to see Sonic Youth play Daydream Nation at the Greek Theatre on July 20th.

views: 954 04.04.07

A Brief History of Amazing Letdowns: A guide to the best shoegaze albums
Many of you reading this will complain about why Verve and Swervedriver aren't on this list under the "UK" section. I just think they rock too hard in a classic sense, and I mean that as a compliment.

views: 1056 04.03.07

NY2LON Party – Saturday March 17th, 2007. SXSW 2007
Photos and words by Timothy Norris

views: 1162 04.02.07

Interview: MIDNIGHT MOVIES

Midnight Movies have returned to the music world with a brand new album in tow. On April 24th their second full-length, Lion the Girl, will be released on New Line Records. Their recent tours have featured new, and permanent, members Sandra Vu and Ryan Wood adding more instrumentation and dynamics to their already stellar live sound.

I caught up with Gena, Larry, Ryan and Sandra before their recent gig at West Hollywood's Viper Room. Also, if you ever need a driver for your 45-foot tour bus look up a guy named Walter (he resembles a pirate).

views: 875 03.30.07

Re-High #7: POLVO
Polvo's Exploded Drawing. An art-rock masterpiece.

views: 989 03.28.07

How to make a press kit 101
Wondering how to impress your friends, prospective labels, and everyone else in the biz? Read this and witness a striking press kit that you'd be proud enough to place on your wall at home.

views: 720 03.28.07

Interview: THE MOVIES
The band everyone loves to love answer some hard-hitting questions about music and their newly built studio in Burbank.

views: 819 03.28.07

The Stooges: Live at Stubb's BBQ (SXSW), 3/17/07
Review and photos by Timothy Norris

views: 685 03.27.07

Land of Talk: Live at Maggie Mae's, SXSW 2007
Some smart-ass shouted out "land of rock!" during the set. A very accurate proclamation of what was to come.

views: 671 03.26.07

Snowden: Live at Lamberts 3/15/07, SXSW
Snowden get whack comparisons to Interpol, but this quartet are far more intense and rhythmically superior. Their live shows are some of the best I've ever seen in the past year as they once again killed it with a feverish set of post-shoegaze at SXSW. Is that a genre? It is now.

views: 675 03.25.07

LiTTLE RADiO TAKES OVER RED EYED FLY, TOKYO POLICE CLUB-FRIDAY @ SXSW
-Photos by Timothy Norris

views: 560 03.23.07

THE MOONEY SUZUKI: Live Photos from LiTTLE RADiO Austin @ SXSW
-Photos by Timothy Norris

views: 542 03.22.07

SXSW 2007: Round Up-Day 4
Photos and reviews by Timothy Norris

views: 1252 03.22.07

SXSW 2007: Round Up-Day 3
Photos and reviews by Timothy Norris

views: 489 03.22.07

SXSW 2007: Round Up-Day 2
Photos and reviews by Timothy Norris

views: 513 03.22.07

SXSW 2007: Round Up-Day 1
Photos and reviews by Timothy Norris

views: 474 03.22.07

The Besnard Lakes, Dirty on Purpose and The Helio Sequence: Live @ EXPLX, 3/21/07

The newly renovated EXPLX is nice, roomy and decked out like a dance club with bathroom attendants in full force. Unfortunately the sound guy was a little too eager to throw on “Neon Bible” every 20 minutes, almost every set was cut in half.

views: 607 03.22.07

PETER BJORN & JOHN: Live photos from LiTTLE RADiO Austin @ SXSW
-Photos by Timothy Norris

views: 451 03.21.07

EL-P & MATT ELLIS: Live Photos from LiTTLE RADiO Austin @ SXSW
-Photos by Timothy Norris

views: 534 03.20.07

PELA & THE OCTOPUS PROJECT: Live Photos from LiTTLE RADiO Austin @ SXSW
-Photos by Timothy Norris

views: 474 03.20.07

VIETNAM & RESTAURANT: Live photos from LiTTLE RADiO Austin @ SXSW
-Photos by Timothy Norris

views: 489 03.19.07

Interview: DIPLO

Wesley Pentz, affectionately known as Diplo, has made a name for himself by mashing-up eclectic mixes of crunk, baile funk, and hip-hop, producing the stellar Arular LP (M.I.A.), and recently forming his own Mad Decent label.

views: 2770 03.04.07

Scott McDonald's Top 20 albums of 2006
Here are my top records of 2006. Hoe 'bout them Grizzlies?

views: 620 12.22.06

Little Radio 2006 Reader's Poll
I don't quite get the Joanna Newsom craze, but the rest of the picks by our readers revealed a strong trend towards albums that have stood out over the year.

views: 547 12.22.06

Interview: The Little Ones

The Little Ones have been touring like crazy and landed deals with the Astralwerks(US) and Heavenly(UK) labels. They'll be starting on a new album soon with Dave Newton behind the boards, then more touring for the rest of their lives.

views: 942 12.07.06

Interview: Mahogany

Mahogany represent one of the brightest moments in 2006's year of releases. Their latest album Connectivity! is available on Darla Records and can be ordered just about anywhere. I caught up with the band to discuss their future plans, and what it's like to work with Robin Gutrhrie.

views: 937 12.04.06

Cat Power: Live at the Orpheum Theatre, 11/25/06
Cat Power went and got mainstream-popular when I wasn’t looking.

views: 594 11.29.06

Re-High #6: STEREOLAB
Stereolab's Major label debut: Transient Random Noise Bursts With Announcements

views: 599 11.28.06

Re-High #5: SWERVEDRIVER

views: 662 11.21.06

Re-High #4: ARCHERS OF LOAF

views: 674 11.14.06

Interview: Britt Daniel of Spoon

I had a moment to chat with Britt Daniel of Spoon about his involvement with the upcoming movie "Stranger Than Fiction" and what it's like to score a film for the first time. Britt also wrote a new Spoon track for the movie titled "The Book That I Write."

views: 819 11.13.06

Re-High #3: THE SEA AND CAKE
This was a close call, but The Biz won out.

views: 566 10.28.06

Re-High #2: UNREST
One of my favorite indie bands of the 90's.

views: 597 10.18.06

Re-High #1: SWIRLIES
We’re kicking off a weekly review of an album/single that never quite got the praise it deserved. This week’s installment goes to the Swirlies second full-length They Spent Their Wild Youthful Days in the Glittering World of the Salons (Taang!, 1996). An indie-rock classic.

views: 670 10.10.06

Interview: Daylight's For The Birds

Out of the ashes of New York's OnLibrary comes Daylight's for the Birds. We had a chance to speak with Jay about the forthcoming album, blogs, and being in control of your own music from day one.

views: 855 10.04.06

Interview: Autolux

I had a chance to catch up with Carla Azar and Greg Edwards of Autolux a few hours before their gig at The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas last week.

views: 947 09.08.06

Interview: Ladytron

Before Ladytron had the chance to expore the voodoo culture and alligator farms of New Orleans I got the chance to speak with keyboardist/vocalist Mira Arroyo.

views: 819 09.01.06

Interview: Asobi Seksu

Asobi Seksu break through the wall of typical indie-rock with an imaginative album full of deep sea reverb and striking vocal melodies. Citrus is one of the high points of this year. Thanks to Yuki for the interview.

views: 721 08.23.06

Interview: The Tyde

Darren Rademaker of The Tyde talks to us about the band and the essentials of surfing:

views: 754 08.21.06

Interview: Silversun Pickups

We got a chance to chat with drummer Christopher Guanlao of L.A.’s hometown heroes the Silversun Pickups. Their tour ends tonight with a sold-out show at The Troubadour.

views: 807 08.11.06

Interview: Broken Social Scene

I had a chance to chat with the great Broken Social Scene before they rocked the crowd at The Greek Theatre. Thanks again to Charles Spearin and John Crossingham for the interview (and a special thanks to the great Marco Landini).

views: 746 08.11.06

Interview: Animal Collective

We caught up with Noah from the awe-inspiring Animal Collective. Here are the goods.

views: 700 08.09.06

Sonic Youth: Live at LiTTLE RADiO, 3/7/06
Free booze and an intimate night with Sonic Youth was more than any fan could ask for.

views: 530 07.10.06

Lansing-Dreiden: Live at The Troubadour, 6/24/06
 Rick Astley meets Dungen?

views: 528 06.28.06

Interview: Serena-Maneesh

views: 715 06.05.06

LA Spotlight: Darker My Love

views: 602 05.29.06

Interview: Paik

A little Q & A with Detroit space-rockers PAIK. Their latest album "Monster of the Absolute" is out now on the Strange Attractors label.

views: 674 05.29.06

Kennedy: Special K EP (2006)

views: 567 05.09.06

Interview: Division Day

We catch up with Division Day's Ryan Wilson (guitarist) and Rohner Segnitz (vocals-keyboards) to talk about the their new LP Beartrap Island. Their next gig is May 11th in Costa Mesa @Detroit Bar w/Modern Memory & Decca Tree.

views: 599 05.02.06

New York Dolls: Live at Spaceland

views: 548 04.03.06

Languis: Live at Spaceland

views: 510 03.26.06

Deerhoof: Live at the Echo

views: 531 11.22.05

Broadcast: Live at Detroit Bar

views: 573 10.25.05

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